The Italian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be part of a ârenaissanceâ heritage project aimed at preserving archaeological objects and art recovered from war zones.
The new center will be set up after the World Expo ends in March next year, Italian government officials and academics said on Sunday.
The project home will be the Italian Pavilion, which contains a life-size 3D replica of Michelangelo’s marble statue of David.
The educational program will be led by a team involved in the digital reproduction of 16th century sculpture. It will include online sessions and in-person workshops on heritage preservation efforts in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
âThe David is our link between the past and the future. We want to deal with the fragile art forms that are at risk in conflict zones. It is our duty to preserve and protect our cultural heritage, âsaid Grazia Tucci, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Florence.
Highlights of Expo 2020 Dubai Day 10 – in pictures
âThanks to advanced technology and digitization, we can better observe art, artefacts, paintings and archaeological finds.
âEarthquakes, floods, climate change and conflict can destroy cultural heritage. The idea is that you have to prevent this from happening and not go there at the end of the conflict when they are already destroyed.
The sessions will be led by archaeologists, architects, engineers and historians.
The knowledge acquired during months of work with the teams on the statue of David with digital scans, 3D printing and the aging of the replica with marble powder will be transmitted in the workshops.
âWe want this to be a legacy of the pavilion. The idea is to train the trainers, âshe said.
âWhen we transfer this approach to professionals in this field, they can do something similar for cultural heritage here. “
During a presentation at the Italian pavilion, Dr Tucci showed photographs of ancient sandstone sculptures of Buddha in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley that the Taliban destroyed in 2001.
She said digital copies of World Heritage sites such as the giant statues of Bamiyan Buddha have already been made by several researchers in other parts of the world.
The specific items to be treated for the restoration on the Expo site have not yet been finalized.
âThe destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha was a pity for mankind,â she said.
âWe have to create data, archives to study and preserve heritage, so just in case it gets destroyed, we can use it to reconstruct it digitally. “
Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Academy Gallery in Florence, said such curatorial projects send a much needed message of hope.
âThe world needs strength after the pandemic we have all had to fight, and David is a symbol of rebirth,â she said in a video message recorded in front of the original sculpture in Italy.
âIt is a symbol of rebirth for many future projects. Some are already underway and others will start soon.
The Italian pavilion is located in the sustainability district of Expo 2020 Dubai. The statue of David is a centerpiece of the structure, which features miles of recycled ropes in its facade.
Updated: October 10, 2021, 2:46 PM